Monday, March 26, 2018

SHARON KAZAN HARRIS AND JIM RICKARDS

SHARON KAZAN HARRIS - OWNER & DIRECTOR OF WINEMAKING, RARECAT WINES

It was during a junior year abroad in France where Sharon Kazan Harris spent a year at the Universit√© de Bordeaux. As a student she was taken under the wing of the wife of the University’s president, which is how she found herself, at age 20, being taken on a personal tour of Chateau Haut Brion, producer of one of the greatest wines in the world. The tour was led by the legendary Monsieur Delmas (Senior) himself, who kindly let her taste the renowned 1982 vintage out of the barrel, followed by the 1966. That moment changed her life, and sealed her interest in wine and the Bordeaux region itself.  Sharon applied and was accepted to the famous DUAD program (the Diplome Universitaire d’Aptitude a la Degustation des Vins) offered through the Universiti√© de Bordeaux’s Oenology department and graduated with honors.

Although Sharon was raised in California and lives in the Napa Valley, her love of wine is a shared experience of two viticulture worlds; Napa and Bordeaux.  This connection is the personality of RARECAT Wines.  Combining American sensibility and love of the land with a Bordeaux palate and winemaking education rooted in old world traditions.  The blending of these two worlds has define a RARECAT wine style based on elegance and balance.

RARECAT Wines is built on the philosophy of a Joie de Vivre life.  A joy of everything that connects people at the table over a glass of wine.  Connecting to important things in life, and experiencing joy with the people you love, cherish, and want to meet!  We create special experiences and opportunities through RARECAT programs such as RARECAT Professional,  RARECAT trunk shows and the RARECAT Ambassadors program.  Creating lifelong connections and artful living through wine, wine education, and charitable giving.  That is the RARECAT promise.

NAPA VINTNER LAUNCHES 23 CITY TOUR IN U.S.
Founder of RARECAT Wines offers seminars educating business executives
Napa Valley, California, February 2018 --- Sharon Kazan Harris is a Napa Valley
winemaker and entrepreneur who combines her wine connoisseurship and business
savvy in seminars educating businesswomen. Kazan Harris--- who has educated
thousands of executive women at seminars and tastings over the last seven years--- is taking her seminars on the road this spring.


JIM RICKARDS - OWNER, J. RICKARDS WINERY 

Welcome to J. Rickards Vineyards and Winery. We are a family-run operation of both wine grape farming and wine production, located at the northern end of the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. Owned and operated by Jim and Eliza Rickards, the Vineyards have been planted over the past 30 years, augmenting the original 1908 Zinfandel vines. The Winery started in 2005, born out of the encouragement of friends who have enjoyed the small lots of hand-crafted wine we have been making since 1991.

We produce several varietals that grow especially well on the diverse blocks throughout our 60 acres. Zinfandel, both from the old vines and new plantings of old clones (see The Ranch) is bold, spicy... Petite Sirah is handled gently to soften its tannic nature, bottled on its own and blended with the Zinfandel, adding its unique character…. Malbec from the lower pond area, a stunning varietal... A blend we call Five Sisters is made from the traditional Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Malbec, all estate grown.

The majority of the grapes we harvest go to other renowned wineries in the area. Our Cabernet Sauvignon to the neighbor, Silver Oak, in their Alexander Valley label; hillside Zinfandel to Passalacqua Winery over the hill; and Petite Sirah to several small producers in the valley. The plan is continue these partnerships and pick selected blocks for our wines. Our first offering was about 150 cases from the 2004 and 2005 vintages, growing to 5000 cases over the next few years.

Monday, March 19, 2018

03/19 DONALD PATZ AND CHRIS HYDE

DONALD PATZ FROM THE SECRET DOOR WINERY - A CULINARY EVENING WITH THE WINEMASTERS

Born in Fargo, North Dakota but lived in both Minnesota and Oregon before coming to California in 1983. He earned a degree in Biology from the University of Oregon. Mr. Patz’s career in wine spans four decades in the wine business at virtually every level from retail through sales and production. He worked for Flora Springs Winery, Girard Winery before dedicating full time to his previous winery business Patz & Hall Winery. Mr. Patz is a notable personality and highly regarded professional within the California wine business. His expertise in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines is unquestioned and although less well-known Mr. Patz also has experience with Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Secret Door Winery is his chance to exercise his skills in a familiar but new arena.


CHRIS HYDE - GENERAL MANAGER AT HYDE VINEYARDS & DIRECTOR OF VITICULTURE, HYDE DE VILLAINE

Christopher Hyde has always had a passion for land. After studying Agricultural Business and Viticulture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Farm Management, Chris worked an internship in sales at Wilson Daniels. From there, Christopher joined the Hyde Vineyards team as viticulturist and helped co-found Larry Hyde and Sons Winery with his father and brother. In 2010, Chris went on to work at Merryvale Vineyards as a viticulturist and cellar worker before assuming the role of General Manager at Hyde Vineyards and Director of Viticulture at Hyde de Villaine Winery in 2012, where he continues to work closely with his father Larry.

In 2015, the latest chapter began, as Chris received his MBA in the second graduating class from Sonoma State University Wine-Business intensive Master’s program and the initiation of construction for the Hyde and Sons Estate Winery in Carneros.

In his free time, Christopher enjoys mountain biking, skiing, wine, and travel.

Monday, March 5, 2018

03/05 DAVID DUNCAN, SILVER OAK CELLARS, LARRY VAN AALST

DAVID DUNCAN - PRESIDENT AND CEO SILVER OAK CELLARS

It All Began With a Handshake
Silver Oak began over a handshake between two friends with a bold vision: focus on one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, aged exclusively in American oak and worthy of cellaring for decades to come.

Raymond Twomey Duncan, a Colorado entrepreneur who began investing in California vineyards in the late 1960s, and Justin Meyer, a winemaker and former Christian Brother, began in a Napa Valley dairy barn in 1972, producing only 1,100 cases of their inaugural vintage.

Over the next two decades, Silver Oak grew in popularity. Our Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Cabernets sold quickly upon their release from the winery and became a sought-after staple on restaurant wine lists around the country. After selecting Daniel Baron to succeed him as winemaker in 1994, Justin retired, selling his share of Silver Oak to the Duncan family in 2001.

With David R. Duncan serving as President and CEO and Tim Duncan as Executive Vice President, the Duncan family continues to operate the winery to this day.


LARRY VAN AALST - SONOMA WINE TRENDS

LARRY HOSTS A PROGRAM ON CRN AND IS AN EXPERT ON WINE WHO IS SOUGHT AFTER FOR, TASTING AND MAJOR SOMMELIER EVENTS IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA. HE COMMENTS ON THE INDUSTRY, WHATS GOING ON IN THE SOMNOMA AREA AND HIS THOUGHTS ABOUT WINE.